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K12 Science Curriculum Fails American Children

U.S. curricula ignore research that demonstrates
the importance of sequencing in science education.

The "inch-deep/mile-wide" problem with the American science curriculum

The Hechinger Report
Students in the United States first learn about the human eye in elementary school; in countries that score higher in science, students don't discuss the eye until eighth grade.
Though the timing might make you think American kids are getting a jump on their global peers, in fact it's symptomatic of the "inch-deep/mile-wide" problem with the American science curriculum, according to The Hechinger Report. When U.S. elementary students study the eye, they typically memorize its different parts and leave it at that. Students in other countries have learned the basics of atomic structure and photons when they study the eye, and therefore grasp the mechanics of vision and how photons are translated into electrochemical impulses.
American students memorize facts, students in other nations learn foundational concepts to understand complicated processes later on. U.S. curricula ignore research that demonstrates the importance of sequencing in science education. American textbooks for each grade contain dozens of topics, and in many cases, define the curriculum. When subjects covered are too numerous for the adequate study of any, the curriculum turns repetitive, and students relearn the same sets of facts year after year, "rather than focusing on a small number of topics and doing them deeply and well," explains William Schmidt of Michigan State University.

Science Book Errors Twelve of the most popular science textbooks used at middle schools nationwide are riddled with errors, a new study has found.

Read the truth about why the errors exist in the textbook publishing industry.


Computer Science Teachers Association dedicated to k12 programming education.
Dr. Mark R. Nelson, Executive Director, and the CSTA Board of Directors
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Addressing Students' Difficulties and Misconceptions About Electrochemistry The College Board has developed the "AP Central" website to provide resources for teachers seeking to improve their students' performance on AP exams, including human geography, chemistry, and European history. This particular resource is from the AP chemistry course page, and it deals with common difficulties and misconceptions regarding electrochemistry. Written by Senior Lecturer Emeritus George Miller of the University of California, Irvine, this article offers some basic guidelines for educators grappling with this particular area of chemistry. The piece includes a discussion of galvanic cells, Ohm's Law, and the half-cell model. Throughout the text, Miller does a fine job of identifying potential areas of confusion that frequently trip up students studying electrochemistry.

HyperHeart - The University of Utah's Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library has worked to create everything from mobile applications to digitized slide collections for medical professionals. One of their most interesting applications is this interactive rendering of the human heart that can be used to understand blood flow and the operations of the heart. The site includes a set of controls that gives visitors the ability to look at the heart in motion, complete with a stop, play, rewind, and fast-forward button. The rendering is accompanied by an electrocardiogram and heart sounds chart to give interested parties a bit more detail about each motion of the heart. The site also includes seven "Tutorials" that provide detailed graphics and text that explain atrial systole, rapid ejection, rapid ventricular filling, and more.

Children Writing About the Ocean All You Need To Know

1) - This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles.(Kelly, age 6)
2) - Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)
3) - If you are surrounded by ocean, you are an island. If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. (Mike, age 7)
4) - Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson . She's not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6)
5) - A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head. (Billy, age 8)
6) - When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans. (William, age 7)
7) - I'm not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can't think what to write. (Amy, age 6)
8) - Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves in to chargers. (Christopher, age 7)
9) - When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small. (Kevin, age 6)
10) - The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I don't know. (Bobby, age 6)
11) - My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, age 7)